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Texas Bank Shuts Account of Anti-Israel Boycott Group

A Texas-based bank announced that it would shut the account of a group promoting boycotts of Israel, Benjamin Weinthal of The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.

Comerica Bank announced that it would close the account of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in a statement e-mailed to the Post. The e-mail from Wayne Mielke, spokesman for the bank, read, “Comerica Bank has taken steps to close the account. The account closing, the result of a business decision, will occur in due course. We will have no further comment on this matter.”

According to Harvard Law School Prof. Alan Dershowitz, the IADL “was founded as a communist front and supported financially by the Soviet Union. It is anti-democratic to its core and supportive of terrorism and repression. No decent person or institution should be associated with or supportive of its anti-democratic agenda and actions.”

It is unclear whether the IADL account was closed due to anti-BDS legislation signed into law last week by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, or if it was due to support of terror groups by the IADL. The IADL did not respond to queries about the reason for the accounts’ closure. In addition to its anti-Israel stand, the IADL, which is based in Brussels, has ties to a legal group associated with North Korea. The IADL also supports Iran’s nuclear program.

Though it is believed that this is the first time in the United States that a bank closed an account belonging to a BDS-supporting group, a number of European banks have done so.

In November of last year, the Post reported:

In June, the Post first reported that Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, closed the Der Semit account held by the Jewish Voice member who spoke at the pro-Hamas event. In February, DAB Bank in Munich pulled shut the account of the Berlin-based BDS Campaign NGO. …

In 2016, financial organizations and banks across Europe shed BDS accounts. Paypal, Crédit Mutuel and BNP Paribas shut accounts in France and Germany. The Austrian banks Erste Group and BAWAG closed BDS and Palestinian terrorism accounts in Vienna.

At a congressional hearing in April 2016, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, outlined how members of a network that used to fund Hamas have become the driving force behind the BDS campaign against Israel in the United States.

BDS seeks to stigmatize and isolate Israel socially, economically, and politically until it accedes to a number of unilateral Palestinian demands. Critics of the campaign have accused it of being discriminatory in tone and intention, and pointed out that many of its leaders have publicly affirmed that they seek Israel’s destruction. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, an opponent of the two-state solution, said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.” Also leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil acknowledged in 2012 that “the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel.”

[Photo: aptvideo / YouTube ]